5 Best Ways of Selling a Car with Mechanical Problems

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Edgar Moulton.


Edgar Moulton. Car Expert

Selling a car with mechanical problems to a private buyer can be a very complicated ordeal, as there are many ethical and legal gray areas you will have to navigate. If you try to sell a car with damaged mechanical parts and don’t disclose all the damage to the seller, you may be liable for fraud in some states (of course, this is meant to protect the buyer — which you could be one day, so it’s a fair law.) 

So if you don’t want to sell your car with mechanical problems to a private buyer, what options do you have? Read on to find out. 

What Mechanical Problems Are a Sign It’s Better to Sell Your Car

You may have some problems with your car that can be fixed with a cheap solution. More serious problems (like ones with your motor or transmission) will be much more expensive. Selling a car that needs mechanical repairs to a private seller will be very difficult, as they won’t want to buy a car that will require repairs right from the start of their ownership. Here are a few examples of costly repairs that might cost more to fix than your car is worth. Even though selling a mechanically damaged car to a private seller will be a huge hassle, don’t worry because at JunkCarsUS we buy non-running cars. 

Problem #1 Your car has a blown engine 

Your car needs all of its components to be working properly for the car to function, but if your engine is blown, all bets are off. The car simply won’t run. If your car is showing critical blown engine symptoms, it’s a sign that you will want to look into how to sell a car with major mechanical problems because a blown engine is definitely one of those. 

A blown engine may come as a result of many things — perhaps it revved too high past redline, or maybe the head gasket blew — either way, it will prevent you from driving it normally and will be a roadblock in terms of selling it to a private buyer. 

Problem #2 Faulty transmission

Just like your engine, the transmission is an integral part of your car being able to run properly. Problems could be as simple as a transmission fluid leak, or it could be something much more serious, like needing a clutch replacement. Clutch replacements start around $500 and can go up to $2500 or more, so you’ll have to ask yourself, “Is it worth fixing, or should I sell my car with mechanical problems to someone like JunkCarsUS?” It might be an easy answer for something as serious as a broken transmission. 

 Problem #3 Your car failed the SMOG test

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If your car fails a smog test, you won’t be able to renew the registration when it’s due. The good news is that if you do fail a smog test, the testing center will give you a report on the reason why. The bad news is, some of those reasons will make you spend a pretty penny to have the issues resolved. Beyond the cost of repairs, in most states, it’s illegal to privately sell a car that has failed a smog test up to 90 days before you sell it. Again, it’s worth checking the overall value of your car and comparing it with the cost of repairs. If fixing your car is more expensive than the car is worth, look into your options on how to sell a car with mechanical problems.

5 Ways to Sell Your Car with Mechanical Problems

Even though selling your mechanically damaged car to a private seller will be a hassle (and in some states a massive liability), there are other options for you to consider. 

Way #1 Trade it in to a dealer and purchase a new car

Right off the bat, we can tell you that you are at a disadvantage any time you deal with a car dealership. They are expert negotiators and know cars inside and out. This means if you try to buy a brand-new car from them and expect to trade in your severely damaged car as part of a rebate to go towards that car, we promise you, it will be less than you think. 

One major issue you will encounter with this method (and many others) is having to get it towed to the dealership to evaluate the car’s condition. Once it’s there, they know you have spent money on towing and will want just to get rid of the car to avoid the towing fee back home. Because of this, they have the upper hand in negotiating a much lesser price for your junk car. 

Way #2 Sell it at an auction

This is a decent option, but it doesn’t come without its drawbacks. Just like your “selling it to a dealership” option, you will need to have your car towed to the auction site. Considering that there are rarely very local auctions, this may mean towing it long distances, which means a huge expense before you even get any cash for it. And once it’s there, you’re not guaranteed any cash for it, because there’s always the option that people won’t want to buy it! This is really only a good option if you have a classic (or otherwise valuable) car where people will pay good money for a fixer-upper. If you have a regular old car with a lot of mechanical damage, it’s unlikely this will be your most cost-effective option.

Way #3 Sell it for parts yourself

This is definitely not your best option for a lot of reasons. The first one is unless you’re a mechanic, it’s tough to disassemble a car on your own — even just for smaller parts. The second reason is, even if you know how to disassemble your car, you must know who to sell the parts to. Sure, you could list them online, but then you will have to deal with shipping. Local junk car buying services know where to sell the parts to, often in bulk, and it’s doubtful that you have the same connections. 

The third reason this will be a pain in the neck is that you have to store the car as you’re disassembling it. This will take up room in your yard or garage and will likely be there for a long time.

Way #4 Sell it for scrap metal

This is unlikely to be your best option, as these scrap yards often take metal only to melt it down and sell it to a recycling plant. This means what might be a car part that could fetch you some decent cash is often just melted down and sold by weight to a metal recycler. Another costly hassle with going this route is that you have to tow the car over to the yard, which will obviously cost you money. 

Way #5 Sell it to a junk car buyer

The easy way to sell a car with mechanical problems is to sell it to a junk car buyer. This is because most junk car buyers will effectively part out your car and sell it to the appropriate buyers as cost-efficiently as possible. That said, not all junk car buyers are the same. Always be sure to check the reputation of the company you sell to and always be sure to sell to a quality one like JunkCarsUS.

If You Want to Get Rid of a Car with Mechanical Problems, Use the Services of Junkcarsus

Encountering a major mechanical issue with your car is not only costly, it may mean the end of your car’s life. Some issues may be worth fixing, but others will spell disaster for your bank account. So if you are in this position, be sure to check out JunkCarsUS — your best option for getting rid of your severely mechanically damaged car. 

With over 12 years in the junk car buying industry, JunkCarsUS is the number one junk car buyer in the United States. We will take nearly any car in any condition and offer you top dollar for it. When we say top dollar, we mean it. We offer the highest price guarantee for any junk car buyer, even for a car with severe mechanical issues. 

Not only will we pay you the most money, but we’ll also give you the friendliest and fastest services. We have a simple three-step process that can have your mechanically damaged car off your property with cash in hand on the same day.

  1. Call us at (855) 547-1550 and speak to one of our friendly customer service representatives. They will ask for the make, the model, the year, the mileage, and the condition (including the mechanical problems) of your car. Then they will give you a cash offer on the spot. You can also use our scrap car value calculator and get an offer in 90 seconds or less. 
  2. Accept our offer and arrange a convenient time for our trusted tow truck driver to come to your location.
  3. Then have it towed away for FREE! That’s right. There are no hidden costs when you work with JunkCarsUS, and that includes towing. 

But what about paperwork and other documents? Don’t worry. We have been buying junk cars for so long and have filled out so many forms we know exactly what information goes where. That means we bring it already filled out and all you have to do is sign on the dotted line. 

So if you have any mechanical issues with your car and it’s going to cost you more to repair it than the car is worth, get in touch with us because we buy damaged cars. Give us a call at (855) 547-1550 or fill out an online application today. 


How to sell a car with damaged mechanical parts?

Self, sell it at auction, trade it into a private dealer, or sell it for scrap metal. These all come with drawbacks that you will probably want to avoid, which leaves you with your best option: sell it to a junk car buyer like JunkCarsUS.

Is it possible to sell a new car with a damaged engine?

It is, but it will likely be a hassle. No one in their right mind will want to buy a new car with a damaged engine. This means a long list of repairs for the new buyer. It’s better to check the car’s value and see if it will be more cost-effective to sell to us at JunkCarsUs.

Where can I sell a car with mechanical problems?

You can sell it to a dealership as a trade-in, a scrap metal junkyard, at an auction, or a junk car buyer like JunkCarsUS. Selling it to JunkCarsUS will almost always be your most cost-effective option.

Edgar Moulton.


Edgar Moulton. Car Expert

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